- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 5, 2002

Local Girl Scouts were treated to Thin Mint chocolate-mousse sandwiches and Trefoils topped with chocolate strawberries yesterday as the Scouts' annual cookie drive got under way.

Scout dad David Rexford, who happens to be the pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotel, made special desserts using four types of Girl Scout cookies.

Dessert lovers will be able to sample Mr. Rexford's Girl Scout cookie treats throughout the month during high tea at the hotel at 4 p.m. every day.

"My daughter, Anna, 7, is going into her second year as a Brownie, so anything I can do to help," said Mr. Rexford, 44, who has been the pastry chef at the hotel for 23 years. "I love bonding with my daughter this way."

The 20 girls from four troops loved the treats.

"My favorite is the Thin Mints chocolate-mousse sandwich," said Liza Crawford, 9, from Troop 3576.

Her troop mate, Erica Abrams, 8, enjoyed the Trefoils topped with a chocolate strawberries the most.

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital, which serves girls in the District, Maryland and Virginia, holds a kick-off event every year but usually not at the Four Seasons. Donella P. Brockington, president of the local council, said she was thrilled to be able to treat the girls to a Friday morning in the hotel.

"We got lucky this year," Mrs. Brockington said.

The D.C. council is one of the largest in the nation, with 70,000 members participating in the region, she said. The council seeks to beat its record numbers from last year by selling 4 million boxes or more this year.

"We are competing with Houston, Texas. They have almost as many members as we do, or more, depending on how you count them," said Mrs. Brockington, who grew up in the District and was a Girl Scout herself.

The cookie sales are the primary income for the Girl Scouts, she said, but the group also receives contributions from local businesses, nonprofits and individual families through the family-share program.

Cookies and treats weren't the only things happening at the Four Seasons yesterday. One aspect of the Girl Scouts is mentoring young girls to become strong women. Troop 3044's Hadyn Rickett, a senior at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, was on hand to fill that role.

Hadyn, 17, who is in her 12th year with the Scouts, finished her gold project last year. She spoke with every girl in the room, offering tips on coming up with their own programs and activities.

Hadyn developed a television show for Comcast Cable's Channel 10 in Alexandria, which gives children coming home to an empty house after school an in-depth look at what it's like to be a Girl Scout. Comcast donated studio time, training and staff for the project.

"I felt I needed to reach out to girls who come home and have nothing to watch but cartoons," she said.

Hadyn's mother, Wendy Wysong, 42, a former Scout, is the troop leader for both of her daughters. Mrs. Wysong is carrying on a tradition started by her mother.

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